Here are the key dates (give or take 2d) pertaining to roster development:
- 5d after last gm WS (11/1-4): Free Agency begins (8), Team decisions on qualifying offers (QO) & all-party-decisions on options (Arietta, Hughes, Neshek & Vargas) due
- Nov 6-8: GM Meetings
- 15d after WS: Player decisions on QOs
- Nov 20th: last awards announced
- Dec 2nd: Non-tender deadline (arb-eligible) - 15 Phillies (Todd Zolecki has the list here)
- Dec. 9-12: Winter Meetings, Rule 5 draft
- Jan 11th: Arbitration #s exchanged; hearings start 2/1
- Val. Day: ST begins
- Feb 22nd: First ST Game
- Mar 26th: O.D. @ Miami Marlins
- July 12th: Game 96 & Futures game (@ Dodgers)
- Fri, July 17th: Game 97
- July 31st: ALL trades deadline
- Sept 13th: Game 150
- Sept 27th: Game 162
It should be the goal for the Phillies to have a manager as the World Series begins (selection) w/ an announcement on one of the travel days. They also need two trainers, a scouting director and pitching & hitting coaches - the make-up of the coaching staff will be left up to the new manager but the Phillies must payout the 2020 contracts of the other nine coaches if any were to be removed by the new manager:
Then comes free agency. You cannot put all your eggs in one basket (offense). Gotta get starters and first-year-FA (29-32 YO) relievers. Here are my thoughts on the roster make-up:
C Realmuto (extend); Knapp at back-up is fine but Klentak should find another if possible
1B: Hoskins (or trade for pitching); Kingery, Quinn? temporarily - move Bohm to 1B if Rhys is traded. He certainly has work to do whether he's a Phillie or not.
3B: bring back Galvis if possible.
SS: Segura (but three strikes you're out on hustling!)
CF: Committee. Herrera must be given an opportunity per MLB policy thru Phillies or trade; Kingery & McCutchen (occasional), Bruce & Quinn (health pending)
Rotation: Nola, Arietta, FA, FA, other - I thought Cole Irvin was worthy of a bounce-back opp. At least one of Eickhoff, Velasquez, Eflin (1st-yr arb) or Pivetta will return (Pivetta is not arb-eligible) and whoever he (or they) is, he will be the long man. Smyly may be a minor-league deal w/ invite. Vargas will probably be opted out by Phillies. Eventually we'll see Howard, Medina and Lindow (them and Bohm will be invitees of course).
Bullpen (8): Pivetta, Neris, Dominguez, Robertson, Morgan; Hughes & Neshek may return but are F.A.-eligible.
Phillies have $57 million to spend this offseason before the luxury tax, which includes a $21MM AAV for Realmuto and some returning players. It's 20% per every $1 over but I think the Phillies can afford it or this year. Some clean-up next year (Arietta) will probably allow us a bit more flexibility to go back under but that's a post for next September.
Depth: this is important to address. I will say that Reading's 1st place finish will help the Phillies in 2020 & 2021.
I think the schedule, offense staying healthy, and getting pitchers will allow the Phillies to win 90. They were on a 94-win pace entering the Dodgers' series (Game 55). Minimum: 86 wins; Max: 95. World Series 2020? Anything goes in the postseason as the Nats-Dodgers series taught us. And Reading didn't make it past the first round and they were 1st in their division. You only need to get there and play sound fundamental baseball, outplaying your opponent. It's a crap-shoot.